The Police Directorate of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is hunting for over 50 drivers including motorcyclists for knocking and destroying the security Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
Statistics compiled by Commissioner of Police- CP Yusuf Ssewanyana, who is the acting director of ICT, indicate that in the last year, 12 CCTV cameras on various major and access roads especially in Kampala Metropolitan have been knocked and destroyed beyond repair.
Police say incidents of knocking CCTV cameras started in 2019 when numerous cameras were installed in Kampala City, Wakiso, and Mukono districts with the purpose of recording crime and traffic incidents.
But police successfully arrested the first culprits, charged them in courts of law, and were fined while others were convicted and sentenced.
Fred Enanga, the Police Spokesperson, says the incidents have skyrocketed in the past few months promoting the force to come out and sound a warning to drivers.
“There is an increase of car crashes into CCTV cameras. Our ICT directorate has noted with concern. So far, we have a register that indicates that a total of 39 cameras have been crashed into. Of these, 25 have since been repaired and reinstated. But 12 cameras were destroyed beyond repair,” Enanga said.
Police embarked on installing CCTV cameras in 2018 at the time the country was facing rampant violent crime incidents. This followed the death of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga who was shot dead in June while Buyende district police commander, Muhammad Kirumira, was gunned down 90 days later.
President Yoweri Museveni indicated that the CCTV cameras would reduce the archaic ways of investigating crime incidents where it majorly relied on who had seen who. By end of 2019, at least 3,233 CCTV cameras had been installed in Kampala and its outskirts.
Enanga adds that whenever the cameras are knocked by drivers under the influence of alcohol, they face a challenge in monitoring people and property in affected areas. Police without revealing the affected areas say at least 14 places in KMP are currently off the national CCTV security grid.
“Among the affected cameras are those that read motor-vehicle number plates and facial recognition. Such incidents have a negative impact and make unable to monitor people and property in those CCTV zones. The CCTV cameras are there to monitor people and property. Some drivers have been under influence of alcohol. Some use them as stoppers due to brake failures,” Enanga said.
Although Enanga did not divulge affected areas, it is reported that areas of Katwe division and Nansana division have more incidents. Police say every driver who will be captured and arrested for knocking CCTV cameras will be forced to incur the costs of repair.
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